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Review: Getting Start with Paint.NET (2013)

The following is a review of Getting Start with Paint.NET (2013), written by Andros T. Sturgeon and Shoban Kumar, and published by Packt Publishing.

Excellent primer for your average user

In the past I've used Adobe Photoshop for my own personal use, as well as at work for relatively simple work. However, after losing my discount a number of years ago, I've kept my eye open for good alternatives, especially for those that were asking for my recommendation on software.

I've always found Gimp to be a usability nightmare, so when Paint.NET started gaing traction a few years ago I was interested, but it was still fairly rough. But when I was asked by Packt Publishing if I'd be interested in reviewing their first book covering Paint.NET, I saw an opportunity to look at the software once again.

While reading the first couple chapters (there are eight total, spread over 115 pages) I was reading it as someone who had previously read books on using Photoshop and had a number of years experiencing actually using the software, so I was disappointed how much I already knew. However, once I put my mindset into someone who had never used software like this before, I found myself enjoying the book much more.

It's for the average individual, who just wants to do some basic editing of their photos (like my mother), that this book really shines. This relatively small book does a fairly good job of covering the functions a user needs to get started with Paint.NET. While I haven't tried yet, I feel fairly confident that giving this book to someone who has very little experience would have enough information at the end of the book to resize their photos and perform some basic editing (given Paint.NET's currently limited tools) on their own.

I also found a healthy amount of humor in this book, and despite being published near the end of last year, the version of Paint.NET covered by this book is still the current version, so there were no issues following along.

I think I would have liked to see a few more screenshots, as well as a few more examples (I strongly believe in iteration), but there's already a fair amount of both.

As long as you approach this book as a new user of Paint.NET/Photoshop/etcetera, I think you'll find this gets you going quickly, and therefore give Getting Start with Paint.NET a full 5 of 5 stars.

Tags: paint.net, review

Categories: review

(All original content on this site is licensed under the Creative Commons License Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0.)

Review: Ghost Trick (2011)

The following is a review of Ghost Trick, released in 2011, for the Nintendo DS.

What a very good game

A very short while ago I watched a video that featured Ghost Trick briefly, and I fell in love with the graphic style of the game. After ordering it with some other DS games, for use on my 3DS XL, I decided that it would be the first of the batch that I would play, and therefore also one of the first games I had played on the system in months.

Throughout this game I found myself saying 'what a great game' aloud, after finding one thing or another that was amazing. While this is the first game of it's type that I think I've played, I don't believe it'll be the last.

A few of the puzzles I had difficulty with, and ended up consulting a guide for the solution, but I'm sure I would have figured them out, had I not been more interested in the story than my pride of completing it alone.

The story is definitely the strongest aspect of the game, although the art style and gameplay are not too far behind. With a few twists and turns, and a fantastic (and slightly tear-invoking) conclusion, Ghost Trick will stay with me for quite some time.

I can easily give Ghost Trick a full five of five stars.

Tags: nintendo ds, review

Categories: gaming, review

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Review: Panavise PortaGrip Phone Holder with Windshield Mount

The following is a review of the Panavise PortaGrip Phone Holder with Windshield Mount, which I received as part of the Amazon Vine program.

No suction due to cold, but great grip

Right away let me say that I wanted to like this product. Unfortunately, a lack of suction made it impossible for me to fully test this in my car. However, given the weather in Wisconsin, I fully attribute that to the extremely cold weather.

Because of that, I'll review what I can, and will update once warmer weather returns.

So, that said, the grip on this mount is fantastic. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 with a very thin backing and had absolutely no issue with a strong grip.

By far, the nicest addition is the 'quick release' that allows you to quickly release your device from the holder.

If it weren't for the suction issue which prevented me from using this, I would have rated this fairly high. However, since I had no suction, and can't be completely sure whether it's due to the cold, I have to give the Panavise PortaGrip Phone Holder with Windshield Mount a neutral rating of 3 of 5 stars, but will update once I'm able to test the suction in warmer weather.

Tags: review

Categories: review

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